By Jose Meza, MAM, CRA, CNMT, NMTCB(CT), PET, NCT, RT(R)(N)(BD)(CT)
I must begin by first thanking the AHRA Education Foundation for awarding me with one of this year’s Ed Yoder Memorial Scholarships. For those who may not know, this scholarship is awarded annually and provides five recipients with full registration to the AHRA Virtual Fall Conference. The opportunity to be granted full access to such expert commentary remunerates the attention that the AHRA deserves.
There is no doubt that the field of imaging will never remain stagnant and will continue to grow at a perpetual rate. I am a witness to these changes and am still at awe when I think about how far the imaging field has evolved. From the old days of dark room processing to the modern digital processors that we know and use today, it will be interesting to see where the field of imaging continues to grow. It is for this reason that imaging technologists and administrators must keep abreast of the impending changes that will continue to have a profound impact on the delivery of care to the patients and various stakeholders they serve. This year’s AHRA Virtual Fall Conference addressed many important topics including: imaging informatics; coding and billing compliance; and devising new and innovative ways to improve the patient experience.
The presenters did an excellent job in the delivery of their content and were without a doubt subject matter experts in their respective fields. I took special interest in listening to the assorted topics on ways to improve the patient experience. In his keynote address, “Making Lasting Images – The Art and Science of Patient Experiences,” Jake Poore stated, “We never get a second chance to make a first impression.” These words still resonate with me today. Jake Poore took the patient experience and dissected it from a customer point of view where the focus is on human first, clinical second, and human again third. He provided meaningful ways to make lasting images for our patients by “caring out loud” and shifting from a hospital centric approach to a patient centric experience.
I was also very excited to participate in the sessions about “Working Well with Millennials,” “Technologies that Will Disrupt Imaging and Healthcare,” “The Basics of Breast Navigation,” and “Using Imaging Informatics Innovation to Improve Quality, Safety, and Efficiency.” It was fascinating to see how imaging informatics is being utilized in patient tracking systems and the profound impact it can play in imaging departments, and how the role of the Breast Cancer Navigator is being utilized to enhance the continuity of care for patients thereby improving the quality of their services.
While the imaging field will continue to see a variety of future changes, it’s nice to know that there will continue to be resources available, such as AHRA, to deliver these changes in such a professional and convenient platform. The knowledge and information that I gained from this experience were beyond my expectations, and because I could share this information with others in my department they too were able to benefit from this experience, as will the patients we serve.
Jose Meza, MAM, CRA, CNMT, NMTCB(CT), PET, NCT, RT(R)(N)(BD)(CT) is a nuclear medicine technologist at VA North Texas Healthcare System in Dallas, TX. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.